Arsenal vs Swansea – The must win game…

The start of each blog this winter has been….

After a disappointing [loss / draw], we find ourselves… and today is the same… we find ourselves on the upper echelons of mid-table but a whopping 12 points behind the leaders. At this stage of the season, that’s a massive gap. We know United, Chelsea and City will drop points, but the problem is that so will we and we’re actually dropping many more…

We’ve heard a bunch of excuses this season… depleted squads, international breaks, suspensions, tiredness, tough trips, many games… in reality, fair enough to those excuses, but at the end of the day, every club has the same issues, and they seem to deal with them. Tomorrow we play Swansea. A team who are playing well, and have some talented players. It’s up to us to start winning games and we have to play out of our skin to get the three points.

Ahead of the game, we understand that Sagna has picked up a knock and Koscielny’s out until the New Year. As a result, the team will have another back four (how many this season?)… the team could be:

Szcznesy

Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs

Arteta – Wilshere

Walcott – Cazorla – Podolski

Giroud

With a bench of Mannone, Coquelin, Djourou, Ramsey, Oxlade, Gervinho, Arshavin

Walcott is the one player who seems to make a massive difference to the team at the moment. When he plays he bring a threat and we’d be foolish to let him go to another club on a free next year. We’d be foolish to lose him at all even at a cost… he is starting to remind me of a young Thierry Henry. He will be very good in the next 3 years, that’s for sure.

Theo is a Gooner and I can’t see him anywhere else, he seems to be enjoying his game at the moment too:

“Those are the sort of positions [at Everton] that this season and in the last few seasons I have been quite deadly in,” he said. “When given a little sniff I am able to take it now. The goals [I have scored] show that. I think I scored 11 last season and 13 the year before. Not just that, but my general play [is getting better] as well. The assists are coming now, which is fantastic, and I am enjoying my football. I am very happy with the way I have started and it has got to continue. Hopefully I will take it into Saturday’s game.”

We’ve seen a lot of very good players leave recently, and I hope the manager and the player give us a Christmas gift by announcing his stay, but for the moment, let’s see if he can add to his goal tally tomorrow…

Til then…

  • prime

    walcott will leave for sure with sagna. they both not included in arsenal calendar 2013.

  • anjam

    wally has sold his house in london and not in the team calender for next year…hmmm really not for one who is about to stay is it?

  • anjam

    To put it concisely, I am neither AKB nor WOB. I think as a person Arsene Wenger
    is an arrogant, petulant man who wears rose-tinted glasses. He doesn’t believe
    any opinion other than his own is correct, he only sees the other side of the
    fence when it is convenient to him, and he refuses to deviate from his
    “principles” to the detriment of the club.

    His character is what has
    been his downfall in many ways. His stubborn refusal to accept other people may
    have better ways of doing things has ruined us in many ways. He refuses flat out
    to buy players who will help the team get better yet sells the better players in
    the side. He sticks with players like Ramsey, Gervinho, Santos, Flappy ( ), all
    players who obviously lack the quality to play in the Premier League week in,
    week out, because he refuses to see the fault in them and himself. What’s worse
    is that when someone comes in and has ideas about how things can be done better
    (Bould), he puts them on mute and carries on doing his own thing, yet he will
    claim that the team are taking a “different” approach.

    It is as a
    tactician that he has been shown up. In previous years he had a very good side
    which didn’t need tactical tweaking, but when you are competing with teams with
    more money, better players etc, you need to be able to set your team up
    tactically to bridge that gap in quality. Wenger will sit there and talk about
    how his team “will perform” and “show their true quality” at places like Old
    Trafford but he sends them out with no tactical idea of how to play, what role
    they should be playing, or any idea of how to get the ball in the net, then acts
    surprised when they are played off the park. It’s horrifying in many ways, and
    players like Ramsey take the flak from fans for Wenger’s mistake. It’s not his
    fault he is playing for Arsenal. Anyone here offered £35k per week to play for
    Arsenal would do it regardless of ability, so getting pissed off at him is one
    thing but you have to ask yourself why he is on the pitch in the first place.
    Then you feel less angry.

    So as a manager, I do not think Wenger is up
    to the job and he should go. But unfortunately this is not the best option for
    us, and this is why I would say I lean towards WOB but I’m not full on. Why?
    Because the Board are bigger kunts than Wenger. If he were to leave, does anyone
    here genuinely believe that despite Arsenal being one of the most appealing jobs
    in world football, that the club would hire someone like Klopp or Pep who will
    actually spend money and try to turn this club into a winning side? It wouldn’t
    surprise me if they got some **** like Alan Pardew – a yes man, who would be
    under no pressure to win, anything he does is a “miracle” and he won’t spend
    shitloads of money. The board will not hire a WINNER who wants to take the club
    FORWARD, because that would cost TOO MUCH MONEY. Money that would be going in
    their back pocket. This is why true change at the club will not come until those
    f#cking pricks on the board are dealt with, because when Wenger leaves, their
    true colors will show.

    As a result of this my support of Arsenal has
    diluted. I’ll go to games but I gave up my season ticket some time ago, for
    monetary reasons and also because you get a season ticket because you want to
    see your team WIN. There isn’t a hunger in this team other than for the first 6
    weeks of a season, then it’s the same old dross. BORING. I love the club but it
    is the board who are ruining it, the primary example of this being the fact they
    have kept Wenger in charge. Wenger is a BY PRODUCT of the board and is a SYMBOL
    OF THE PROBLEM WITH THIS CLUB, not the main problem itself.

    I think that
    makes sense anyway. F#ck the board

  • Arsefan101

    You’re right. It’s amazing that we can sit and watch this happen. Theo and Bacary off in January to the highest or lowest bidder.

    Jenkinson and Oxlade replacements…

    Vermaelen off in summer

    Koscielny off in 2014…

    It’s a shambles

  • alexs

    question those whose optimism, and never waiver in what they say but you are banking a big percentage in FPP helping us to win titles, and new sponsorship deals two years ahead. Can you be certain that say for an example if Santi or Jack have an outstanding season that either or both won¿t be tempted by the russian or arab money, as that is the pattern these last three seasons. Imagine a committed RVP,Fabregas and Nasri were still with us, would we be stronger as a unit.? Suddenly Walcott who had his fair share of critics is potentially our best player. He hasn¿t rushed to sign a new deal.Sagna another who appears to be leaving his options open. Can you rely on Rosicky,Diaby or even Gibbs having a near injury free season ? Why does Arshavin get so little game time. He may have his faults but on his day he can be a match winner,yet not even in the squad.against Everton. Even the hapless Chamakh, got the odd game at Reading had a good game to boost his confidence and then what happens, he is booted out into the wilderness. Why when we didn¿t get Schwarzer didn¿t we try for another older hand to mentor our Pole as he is the only decent keeper in the squad, the others aren¿t Arsenal quality. All very unsettling IMO ,

  • walter

    I was at a wet and miserable Villa Park on Saturday night, and I was as disappointed as the next Gooner to only get a point, although I would give some credit to a well-organised and hard-working Villa side. But that isn’t really the point of this mail. Towards the end, as has been jumped on by eager members of the press, Arsenal fans asked if Wenger knew what he was doing, and that they want their Arsenal back. I’m sure there will be comment on the first aspect of that, and I will not add to it. However, it did bring back the question I’ve been meaning to ask for a long time – which Arsenal do people want back?

    There are a few angles to view this from. In terms of the relationship between club and fan it is pretty low at present. So maybe this is it? Maybe people are harking back to a previous age of fan engagement and low ticket prices? I’m old enough (not quite 40 yet though – thanks) to remember the formation of the first independent Arsenal fan groups in protest to the David Dein created Bond scheme. My ‘Guide to Football League Grounds’ 1992 edition shows that Arsenal had the highest ticket prices in the league in conjunction with Man United. So my conclusion is that it isn’t this Arsenal that people want back. It’s always been expensive in relation to other clubs, and the club and fanbase have been fractured for many years.

    Maybe it is the ownership. The silent, rich American who is totally detached from the real fan. Who appoints a stooge in Gazidis to do his dirty work. Now, I have major issues with the ownership at present but is it that different from the past? I mean, can we all relate to the Hill-Woods or Bracewell-Smiths of this world? Again, I think this is a red herring. The ownership of Arsenal has always been elitist and detached. But, the club has also always been well run financially. I see little difference bar the nationality.

    I hear that David Dein is the answer. A real Arsenal man. He’ll bring our Arsenal back. This is the man who introduced the Bond scheme, knocked down the North Bank, wanted to move us to Wembley and then sold his shares to an Uzbeki ‘businessman’ for a huge profit – leading to the current impasse we have at ownership level. Add in his solicitor son, Darren, who has been a major player in all the recent big money transfers out of the club in recent years (Fabregas, Nasri, RVP all had Dein in their ‘team’) and I need convincing that Dein is the knight in white armour some seem to think.

    Arsenal are actually a football club, as well as a well run business, so let’s consider the situation on the pitch. Since 1996-97 (and the arrival of our current manager) we have not finished outside the top four. Prior to this we had finished in the top four only 25 times. Our average league position is higher than ever it has been. We haven’t won a trophy for seven years now (© every newspaper in the UK) but in the 60s we won none at all. 70s? 4. 80s? 2. The period since the title in 1989 (our first in 18 years) has been our best in post war history. Two titles in the 90s and two in the 2000s together with a number of cups of various importance. So which Arsenal do we want back?

    The current situation on the pitch is frustrating. But Arsenal do not have a divine right to win every game, or to win trophies and we need to accept that. I would agree that there are short-term failings in the side, and that the apparent reluctance to spend money is irritating but this isn’t getting ‘our’ Arsenal back. Because I’m not sure what ‘our’ Arsenal looks like. Is it the failing 1980s version, the nearly relegated 70s version or the current consistent but lacking glory version?

    There’s a load more to say on this subject but I’ll spare the rest of the readership the debate. I am genuinely interested in comments from fellow Gooners about this – which Arsenal do we want? I’ll sign off with a couple of quotes from people who know the club far better than I.

    “I really like Arsenal. Do you really like Arsenal, or only Arsenal with trophies?” – Dennis Bergkamp.
    “Which Arsenal do they want back, the one Arsene created?” – Tony Adams.

  • ash

    melt down

  • ROB

    I hate being right but I saw this a mile off.

    Trust me kids its
    for the best, without doubt we are witnessing the end of the Wenger
    reign. You can’t delivery titles, doubles and Invincibles and then serve
    up the shit we are today and get away with it.

    Kudos to the crowd today who voiced their opinion.

    Thanks for the memories Wenger but it’s now time to say goodbye!